I've been trying to develop my relative pitch, and I've seen the suggestion of using "interval songs". This makes sense to me, but I've noticed something about every song I've seen suggested for the interval of a Perfect 4th: it's always the dominant to the tonic. This makes the tool more difficult to use in my head.

Can anyone recommend any pieces (the more well-known the better) that begin with the tonic to the subdominant?


2 Answers 2


The guitar riff of "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood uses a perfect fourth from the root up (and so do many other blues riffs).

  • @Tim: What I meant was that going from the tonic to the fourth is a very common thing to do in the blues/rock idiom. Think of Deep Purple's Black Night riff (actually stolen from Ricky Nelson's version of Summertime), or Led Zeppelin's Black Dog, where in both cases the 1-4 happens somewhere in the middle of the riff.
    – Matt L.
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 10:37
  • Not to mention in folk music. The interval from the pickup to the first downbeat in "This Land is Your Land" is from one to four also. Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 16:18

The opening riff to "Blister in the Sun" outlines a fourth between tonic and the fourth. (It's not just 1-4, it's more like 1-3-1-4-3; but it might be useful since it's just such a simple earworm....)

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